Feb 7, 2007

Gov. Rick Perry's High Horse

Sen. Jane Nelson has written a letter dated February 5, 2007, to Gov. Rick Perry saying the following:

We, the undersigned members of the Texas Senate, respectfully request that you withdraw Executive Order RP65 requiring girls to receive the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine prior to entering the sixth grade and allow this issue to proceed through the full legislative process.


Although 26 of the 31 Texas state senators signed this letter to Gov. Perry, he did not respond favorably, preferring to include this "accomplishment" in a speech he gave yesterday. He could have quietly left it out of his speech, allowing for continued communication with his legislature, but by choosing to promote his executive order instead, he is alienating not only 26 out of the 31 state senators, and probably most of the representatives as well, but nearly all the conservative citizens are up in arms about Gov. Perry's decision to act alone even though there were already several bills before the legislature regarding this issue.

Generally, executive orders are reserved only for emergency issues. How does mandating an unproven vaccine for experimentation on our little girls in order to stop a sexually transmitted disease that is not contagious other than through sex qualify as an emergency? If this is an emergency, then what legislation is not an emergency?

Since Gov. Perry has refused the senate's reasonable request to take this through the proper legislative channels, Senators Dan Patrick and Glen Hegar have now introduced SB438, a resolution to nullify this outrageous executive order. So far, 14 senators have agreed to this bill. If passed, however, Gov. Perry has the right to veto this bill. At that point, it would take a 2/3 majority to override the veto, which the legislature fully expects to have.

What are they offering instead? Instead of the opt-out option that Gov. Perry has ordered, the senators are offering an opt-in option instead, making this vaccine available to all girls, but mandatory to none. Now that is an option I can live with.

"Easy" Opt-Out Option

Sarah told me to check out the opt-out option, so I looked into it a little bit. It seems that first you fill out a form requesting not to have certain vaccinations. This form includes all kinds of personal information that could potentially lead to further government intrusion down the road. Then you wait for several weeks for approval. In the meantime, if your daughter attends school or sports or some activity where vaccinations are required, this could lead to quite a bit of harassment during the waiting period. Upon approval from the government, you may take this form to school, but the school is not obligated to accept it. You may take this form to your doctor, but he is not obligated to accept it either. In fact, he may no longer take you as a patient if you insist on your right not to vaccinate your children. And if your doctor decides to report you to your insurance company, they may drop your insurance for non-compliance with mandatory vaccines. And if none of these scenarios happen, and you are allowed to go to school, belong to certain sports activities, and your doctor or insurance company doesn't balk, you can look forward to going through the whole process again every two years with each child. You're right, Sarah, it's not as easy as it sounds.

The Numbers: 2 in a Million

Gardasil, the HPV vaccine manufactured by Merck to supposedly keep HPV from causing cervical cancer, had a very short research life and is totally unproven. Since its introduction last June, there have already been 82 serious adverse reactions reported from this vaccine. No long terms are yet known. The validity of the claims that it stops 100% of the HPV which causes cervical cancer has not been proven in any way whatsoever and, in fact, it would take vaccination of a million girls to prevent cancer in 4 to 5 girls. About 37% die from cervical cancer, so that would prevent 1 to 2 deaths. So $360 million in vaccine would prevent 1 to 2 deaths.

Every state will have to decide this issue soon. It is best to be prepared with facts. Here is a blog with lots of facts about both the Texas issue and the vaccine issue.

To help Gov. Perry get off his high horse, you may call him at 1-800-252-9600 and express your grave concern of his rash actions in taking away parental rights and using our daughters as human guinea pigs. Say no to Big Brother.

6 comments:

Brandon Giromini said...

Jen,

(My question about men being required seems to be all ready answered.)

Great analysis. If they are truly concerned about the health of young girls and boys can have HPV too, they should be required to take the vaccine also.

Jen, I however believe this is just a small taste of what will happen if a vaccine for HIV is ever discovered. The government will require every citizen to get the shot, even faithful married couples.

Jen said...

Brandon, you may be on to something that is just the tip of the iceberg. It is becoming increasingly more difficult not only for parents to be able to choose whether or not to vaccinate their own children, but many adults are also in a position where they have mandatory vaccines as well.

You know that community we were talking about the other day...

Another Walston Family Blog said...

Jen,

I wanted to offer some corrections to your paragraph on the opt-out process that I think need to be clarified.

You can edit your paragraph and delete this comment if you want - or edit this comment so it's not so long - no biggie - I just don't have my email open right now and this is quicker...or I'd email you.

It seems that first you fill out a form requesting not to have certain vaccinations.

Actually first you have to request the "Affidavit for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience" form from the Dept. of Health and Human Services. There is a request form that asks for personal information (child's name, birthday, etc - which is above and beyond what the law actually requires).

Then you wait for several weeks for approval.

I'm not sure what you're referencing here. Sometimes you can wait several weeks for the blank affidavit(s) to arrive in the mail, but you are not waiting on anyone's approval.

After you request the form, the DHS sends you up to 5 blank forms per child. This can sometimes take weeks. But sometimes only a matter of days. I know. On Monday I faxed a written request to DHS for 2 Affidavits for Hannah, who needs to be enrolled in the speech therapy program at the public school down the street. On Thursday I received the 2 affidavits. So, not bad turn around time.

In the meantime, if your daughter attends school or sports or some activity where vaccinations are required, this could lead to quite a bit of harassment during the waiting period.

This is true - while waiting for the Affidavit to arrive - you can be kicked out of public school, private school or daycare.

Upon approval from the government, you may take this form to school, but the school is not obligated to accept it.

Two things here: 1) you are not getting approval from your government to opt-out. You are simply getting the official form. Once the form is filled out and notarized, you are good to go. And 2) All public schools in the State of Texas are absolutely REQUIRED to accept the Affidavit. But...private schools and day cares and private Dr's offices are exempt from the law.


Now about the exemption forms. On them they include the childs name and birthdate that is preprinted by DHS. The affidavits are numbered - which leads me to believe that Texas is keeping a record that Hannah Walston was given affidavits #75935 and 75936 on whatever date they entered into the computer. If they aren't keeping a record of who got affidavits...why are they numbered?? And why is Hannah's name preprinted on it?

In section B of the affidavit it states: I do NOT want my child to receive the following vaccines for reason of conscience, which may include a religious belief. I personally have a problem with the wording. Maybe I'm being nit-picky - but I don't like that sentance!

Then in section B it lists all the vaccines, including the newly released HPV vaccine, and you check off which vaccines you do not want your child to have.

Then you sign the form in front of a notary and your public school has to accept it and put it in the student's file. The form is not sent back to DHS - according to what I've been told. But...who knows....

I personally think it ought to be handled this way:

Parent does not wish to hand over their child's medical records to a government, so parent gets note from family Dr or pediatrician stating that child is up to date on all their personal vaccines and the Dr signs it. This would be a great benefit for people like me who prefer medical files to stay out of governmental hands. As it stands - in order to be an honest witness - I have to reveal that Hannah has had all her DTaP's and the HiB vaccine. Which is NONE of their business!

Jen said...

Thanks, Sarah. I can't really change comments in Blogger, so I will have to leave it intact.

Your personal experience is very valuable to the discussion. Thanks for being our guinea pig this week!

I had taken my information from another website, but it sounds like the information was correct in general, although some specifics may differ. I think basically you are saying that public schools have to accept your forms, but no one else is obligated to. I would guess that most parents (not all, but most) who care enough to look into and do something about this will not have their children in public school anyway.

The worst part of the whole process is the fact-gathering the government is doing on you!

We are still praying for Hannah.

MTG said...

Jen the vaccine only protects against a few strains of this virus. Rick Perry has some financial ties to the vaccines maker.

Brandon Giromini said...

Jen, I just read in today's Wall Street Journal that a recent US study looking at US females aged 14-59 found that the "combined prevalence of two high-risk strains of HPV, types 18 and 18, was about 2% in that population." Those are the 2 strains which cause about 70% of cervical cancers. If you include the other 2 strains that Gardasil would prevent, the number was 3.4% of the population. That would be about 3.1 million females in the US.